I hope this isn't a wierd question but we boat on the Illinois River and own a pontoon. Would these enclosures help protect us?

by Debbie
(Peoria, Il)

The asian carp are really "plentiful" around here. They jump alot and come into the boat. We have a couple of dents on our boat due to them. It's really scary and I have considered not using our boat any more so this is our last straw.

This is an unusual question Debbie. I just watched a video and that is a real problem. So, I think your asking me if clear vinyl enclosure will help keep the carp from actually jumping into the boat and hitting you or damaging upholstery etc.
This is going to be a yes and no answer. Yes it will deflect most of it, especially if you use a heavier gauge vinyl, such as 40 gauge. However, I would think that with the right angle of impact this fish could cut right through it. My guess is that if the fish hits just right it could cut the vinyl. I would suggest then, that you take the fabric up as far as you can and still be able to see comfortably out of your boat. Use a fabric called Top Notch, it looks like sunbrella, but is just crazy strong.

The next thing you would have to worry about is ventilation. You might want to do some upside down smile zippers built into the plastic to allow for ventilation while the panel is still zipped in place.

Upside down smile zippers is not something I usually recommend, because they put a lot of stress on the teeth of the zippers, but in your case it would allow ventilation from the top and keep those critters from getting through. They really do jump pretty high. Then maybe you would keep a roll of tear-aid on your boat, should a carp cut the plastic.

It will be an expensive investment to completely enclose the boat, and I am not sure if of it's results.

Lastly, you might use polycarbonate or lexan plastic, really tough, but really expensive. You might not be able to find a fabricator in your area who builds these, but ranier industries will fabricate a window surrounded by fabric with unfinished edges that a local fabricator can finish to fit your boat. This would require a more advanced fabricator to know how to handle a project such as this.
Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck with this one, It's really pretty awful.

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